I love new beginnings. I love to stop, reflect on the past but move toward the present. Like so many of you, at the end of last year I recalled my successes and failures and made goals for a new beginning in 2016.
This morning, I want to encourage you to do something I rarely ask you to do. Look back over your life and ask this one question: “Am I harboring bitterness, offense, unforgiveness against any one?” Is there anyone who when you are reminded of them feelings of hurt, anger, revenge emerge? If so, I want you to do me one more favor.
Take a deep breath and as you exhale, pray this – “Lord I release (say their name). I choose this moment to forgive. Lord I release the bitterness, the pain, the hurt, the feelings of rejection unto you Father. Heal my heart Lord and supernaturally give me the power to forgive.” Now one last thing. Pray for that person. Bless them. Pray God’s face would shine upon them. Pray that the works of their hands would be blessed. Pray that 2016 would be the best year yet for them.
I know that last part is difficult. I’m doing it with you. But let’s start 2016 off free from unforgiveness, free from bitterness. We have carried the burden of unforgiveness for way too long and what better time to be free than 2016? Listen closely. Can you hear it? It’s the sound of freedom!
After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10 NLT)